Working-Class Perspectives

When Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for urging every American to get at least some college education, the comment drew lots of media attention.  But Santorum’s quip is a sideshow.  The center stage of the political debate over higher education has to do with costs and accountability, and the challenges to colleges and universities are coming from all sides.  Conservatives lament the leftist ideological influence of college professors – an old, old claim that’s easy to either ignore or refute.  Obama’s proposal for cutting federal funding to universities that don’t control costs has more troubling and complicated implications, especially for working-class schools and students.

Those who work with working- and poverty-class students see the effects of rising college costs every day.  I heard it just last week from students in one of my classes, complaining about the difficulty of balancing 30-plus hours a week of physically- and…

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About Ryan Copeland

Ryan grew up in Maine and studied at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst before moving to Seattle in 2009. He has worked with school-age students in various settings for the past eight years, including two great years as a literacy specialist at Greenwood Elementary. He currently studies Elementary Education at Penn GSE.

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